Insert a or an if necessary.
1 My neighbour is . . . photographer; let's ask him for . . . advice about colour films.
2 We had . . . fish and . . . chips for . . . lunch. ~
That doesn't sound . . . very interesting lunch.
3 I had . . . very bad night; I didn't sleep . . . wink.
4 He is . . . vegetarian; you won't get . . . meat at his house. He'll give you . . . nut cutlet. ~Last time I
had . . . nut cutlet I had . . . indigestion.
5 . . . travel agent would give you . . . information about . . . hotels.
6 We'd better go by . . . taxi—if we can get . . . taxi at such . . . hour as 2 a.m.
7 . . . person who suffers from . . . claustrophobia has . . . dread of being confined in . . . small space,
and would always prefer . . . stairs to . . . lift.
8 Do you take . . . sugar in . . . coffee? ~
I used to, but now I'm on . . . diet. I'm trying to lose . . . weight.
9 . . . man suffering from . . . shock should not be given anything to drink.
10 You'll get . . . shock if you touch . . . live wire with that screwdriver.
Why don't you get . . . screwdriver with . . . insulated handle?
11 It costs fifty-five and . . . half pence and I've only got . . . fifty pence piece. ~
You can pay by . . . cheque here. ~
But can I write . . . cheque for . . . fifty-five and . . . half pence?
12 . . . Mr Smith is . . . old customer and . . . honest man. ~
Why do you say that? Has he been accused of . . . dishonesty?
13 I'm not . . . wage-earner; I'm . . . self-employed man. I have . . . business of my own. ~
Then you're not . . . worker; you're . . . capitalist!
14 When he was charged with . . . murder he said he had . . . alibi.
15 . . . friend of mine is expecting . . . baby. If it's . . . girl she's going to be called Etheldreda. ~
What . . . name to give . . . girl!
16 I have . . . hour and . . . half for lunch. ~
I only have . . . half . . . hour—barely . . . time for . . . smoke and ... cup of coffee.
17 I hope you have . . . lovely time and . . . good weather. ~
But I'm not going for . . . holiday; I'm going on . . . business.
18 He looked at me with . . . horror when I explained that I was . . . double agent.
19 I wouldn't climb . . . mountain for Ј1,000! I have . . . horror of . . . heights.
20 I have . . . headache and . . . sore throat. I think I've got . . . cold. ~
I think you're getting . . . flu.
21 . . . Mr Jones called while you were out (neither of us knows this man). He wants to make . . .
complaint about . . . article in the paper. He was in . . . very bad temper.
22 If you go by . . . train you can have quite . . . comfortable journey, but make sure you get . . .
express, not . . . train that stops at all the stations.
23 . . . few people know (hardly anyone knows) that there is . . . secret passage from this house to . . .
old smugglers' cave in the cliffs.
24 I'm having . . . few friends in to . . . coffee tomorrow evening.
Would you like to come? ~
I'd love to, but I'm afraid I'm going to . . . concert.
25 It's time you had . . . holiday. You haven't had . . . day off for . . . month.
26 He broke ...leg in... skiing accident. It's still in . . . plaster.
27 I want . . . assistant with . . . knowledge of French and . . . experience of . . . office routine.
28 I see that your house is built of . . . wood. Are you insured against ... fire?
29 The escaping prisoner camped in . . . wood but he didn't light . . . fire because . . . smoke rising
from the wood might attract . . . attention.
30 I had . . . amazing experience last night. I saw . . . dinosaur eating . . . meat pie in . . . London park.
You mean you had . . . nightmare. Anyway, dinosaurs didn't eat . . . meat.
31 I'll pay you . . . hundred . . . week. It's not . . . enormous salary but after all you are . . . completely
32 If you kept . . . graph you could see at . . . glance whether you were making . . . profit or . . . loss.
33 . . . little (hardly anything) is known about the effect of this drug; yet . . . chemist will sell it to you
without . . . prescription.
34 I have . . . little money left; let's have dinner in . . . restaurant.
35 Would it be . . . trouble to you to buy me . . . newspaper on your way home?
36 . . . man is . . . reasoning animal.
Insert the if necessary.
1 . . . youngest boy has just started going to . . . school; . . . eldest boy is at . . . college.
2 She lives on . . . top floor of an old house. When . . . wind blows, all . . . windows rattle.
3 . . . darkness doesn't worry . . . cats; . . . cats can see in . . . dark.
4 My little boys say that they want to be . . . spacemen, but most of them will probably end up in . . .
less dramatic jobs.
5 Do you know . . . time? ~
Yes, . . . clock in . . . hall has just struck nine. ~
Then it isn't . . . time to go yet.
6 He was sent to . . . prison for . . . six months for . . . shop-lifting.
When . . . six months are over he'll be released; . . . difficulty then will be to find . . . work. ~
Do you go to . . . prison to visit him?
7 I went to . . . school to talk to . . . headmistress. I persuaded her to let Ann give up . . . gymnastics
and take . . . ballet lessons instead.
8 . . . ballet isn't much use for . . . girls; it is much better to be able to play . . . piano.
9 I am on... night duty. When you go to . . . bed, I go to . . . work.
10 Peter's at . . . office but you could get him on . . . phone. There's a telephone box just round . . .
11 He got... bronchitis and was taken to . . . hospital. I expect they'll send him home
at . . . end of . . . week. ~
Have you rung . . . hospital to ask how he is?
12 Ann's habit of riding a motorcycle up and down . . . road early in . . . morning annoyed . . .
neighbours and in . . . end they took her to . . . court.
13 He first went to . . . sea in a Swedish ship, so as well as learning . . . navigation he had to learn . . .
14 . . . family hotels are . . . hotels which welcome . . . parents and . . . children.
15 On . . . Sundays my father stays in . . . bed till ten o'clock, reading . . . Sunday papers.
16 Then he gets up, puts on . . . old clothes, has . . . breakfast and starts . . . work in . . . garden.
17 My mother goes to . . . church in . . . morning, and in . . . afternoon goes to visit . . . friends.
18 Like many women, she loves . . . tea parties and . . . gossip.
19 My parents have ... cold meat and . . . salad for . . . supper, . . . winter and . . . summer.
20 During . . . meal he talks about . . . garden and she tells him . . . village gossip.
21 We have a very good train service from here to . . . city centre and most people go to . . . work by
train. You can go by . . . bus too, of course, but you can't get a season ticket on . . . bus.
22 . . . dead no longer need . . . help. We must concern ourselves with . . . living. We must build . . .
houses and . . . schools and . . . playgrounds.
23 I'd like to see . . . Mr Smith please. ~
Do you mean . . . Mr Smith who works in . . . box office or . . . other Mr Smith?
24 Did you come by . . . air? ~
No, I came by . . . sea. I had a lovely voyage on . . . Queen Elizabeth II.
25 . . . most of . . . stories that . . . people tell about . . . Irish aren't true.
26 . . . married couples with . . . children often rent . . . cottages by . . . seaside for . . . summer
. . . men hire boats and go for . . . trips along . . . coast; . . . children spend . . . day on . . . beach and . .
. poor mothers spend . . . most of . . . time doing . . . cooking and cleaning.
27 It's usually safe to walk on . . . sand, but here, when . . . tide is coming in, . . . sand becomes
dangerously soft. . . . people have been swallowed up by it.
28 When . . . Titanic was crossing . . . Atlantic she struck an iceberg which tore a huge hole in her
bow. . . . captain ordered . . . crew to help . . . passengers into . . . boats.
29 Everywhere . . . man has cut down . . . forests in order to cultivate . . . ground, or to use . . . wood
as . . . fuel or as . . . building material.
30 But . . . interference with . . . nature often brings . . . disaster. . . . tree-felling sometimes turns . . .
fertile land into a dustbowl.
31 . . . people think that . . . lead is . . . heaviest metal, but . . . gold is heavier.
32 Our air hostess said, '. . . rack is only for . . . light articles. . . . heavy things such as . . . bottles
must be put on . . . floor.'
33 . . . windows are supposed to let in . . . light; but . . . windows of this house are so small that we
have to have . . . electric light on all . . . time.
34 There'11 always be a conflict between . . . old and . . . young. . . . young people want . . . change
but . . . old people want . . . things to stay . . . same.
35 . . . power tends to corrupt and . . . absolute power corrupts absolutely.
36 You can fool some of . . . people all . . . time, and all . . . people some of . . . time; but you cannot
fool all . . . people all . . . time.
Articles: a/an, the
Insert a, an or the if necessary.
1 There was . . . knock on . . . door. I opened it and found . . . small dark man in . . . blue overcoat and
. . . woollen cap.
2 He said he was . . . employee of . . . gas company and had come to read . . . meter.
3 But I had . . . suspicion that he wasn't speaking . . . truth because . . . meter readers usually wear . . .
4 However, I took him to . . . meter, which is in . . . dark corner under . . . stairs
(. . . meters are usually in . . . dark corners under . . . stairs).
5 I asked if he had . . . torch; he said he disliked torches and always read . . . meters by . . . light of . . .
6 I remarked that if there was . . . leak in . . . gaspipe there might be . . . explosion while he was
reading . . . meter.
7 He said, 'As . . . matter of . . . fact, there was . . . explosion in . . . last house I visited; and Mr Smith,
. . . owner of . . . house, was burnt in . . . face.'
8 'Mr Smith was holding . . . lighted match at . . . time of . . . explosion.'
9 To prevent . . . possible repetition of this accident, I lent him . . . torch.
10 He switched on . . . torch, read . . . meter and wrote . . . reading down on . . . back of . . . envelope.
11 I said in . . . surprise that . . . meter readers usually put . . . readings down in . . . book.
12 He said that he had had . . . book but that it had been burnt in . . . fire in . . . Mr Smith's house.
13 By this time I had come to . . . conclusion that he wasn't . . . genuine meter reader; and . . . moment
he left . . . house I rang . . . police.
14 Are John and Mary . . . cousins? ~
No, they aren't . . . cousins; they are . . . brother and . . . sister.
15 . . . fog was so thick that we couldn't see . . . side of . . . road. We followed . . . car in front of us
and hoped that we were going . . . right way.
16 I can't remember . . . exact date of . . . storm, but I know it was . . . Sunday because everybody was
at . . . church. On . . . Monday . . . post didn't come because . . . roads were blocked by . . . fallen
17 Peter thinks that this is quite . . . cheap restaurant.
18 There's been . . . murder here. ~
Where's . . . body?~
There isn't . . . body. ~
Then how do you know there's been . . . murder?
19 Number . . . hundred and two, - . . house next door to us, is for sale.
It's quite . - . nice house with . . . big rooms. . . . back windows look out on . . . park.
20 I don't know what . . . price . . . owners are asking. But Dry and Rot are . . . agents. You could give
them . . . ring and make them . . . offer.
21 . . . postman's little boy says that he'd rather be . . . dentist than . . . doctor, because . . . dentists
don't get called out at . . . night.
22 Just as . . . air hostess (there was only one on the plane) was handing me . . . cup of . . . coffee . . .
plane gave . . . lurch and . . . coffee went all over . . . person on . . . other side of . . . gangway.
23 There was . . . collision between . . . car and . . . cyclist at . . . crossroads near . . . my house early
in . . . morning. . . . cyclist was taken to . . . hospital with . . . concussion. . . . driver of . . . car was
treated for . . . shock. . . . witnesses say that . . . car was going at . . . seventy miles . . . hour.
24 Professor Jones, . . . man who discovered . . . new drug that everyone is talking about, refused to
give . . . press conference.
25 Peter Piper, . . . student in . . . professor's college, asked him why he refused to talk
to . . . press.
26 We're going to . . . tea with . . . Smiths today, aren't we? Shall we take . . . car? ~
We can go by . . . car if you wash . . . car first. We can't go to . . . Mrs Smith's in . . .
car all covered with . . . mud.
27 He got . . . job in . . . south and spent . . . next two years doing . . . work he really enjoyed.
28 It is . . . pleasure to do . . . business with such . . . efficient organization.
29 . . . day after . . . day passed without . . . news, and we began to lose ... hope.
30 Would you like to hear . . . story about . . . Englishman, . . . Irishman and . . . Scotsman? ~
No. I've heard . . . stories about . . . Englishmen, . . . Irishmen and . . . Scotsmen before
and they are all . . . same.
31 But mine is not . . . typical story. In my story . . . Scotsman is generous, . . . Irishman is logical and
. . . Englishman is romantic. ~
Oh, if it's . . . fantastic story I'll listen with . . . pleasure.
32 My aunt lived on . . . ground floor of . . . old house on . . . River Thames. She was very much
afraid of . . . burglars and always locked up . . . house very carefully before she went to . . . bed.
She also took . . . precaution of looking under . . . bed to see if . . .
burglar was hiding there.
33 '. . . modern burglars don't hide under . . . beds,' said her daughter.
I'll go on looking just . . . same,' said my aunt.
34 One morning she rang her daughter in . . . triumph. 1 found . . . burglar under . . . bed . . . last
night,' she said, 'and he was quite . . . young man.'
35 . . . apples are sold by . . . pound. These are forty pence . . . pound.
36 It was . . . windy morning but they hired . . . boat and went for . . . sail along . . . coast. In . . afternoon . . . wind increased and they soon found themselves in . . . difficulties.
Keys to Practical Exercises
1. Articles: A/ AN
Exercise 1 (note that '-' indicates that no article is required.)
la,- 2-,-,-;a 3 a, a 4 a,-; a; a,- 5A,-,- 6-,a,an 7 A, -, a, a,-, a 8-,-;a,- 9A,- 10 a, a; a, an
11- a, a;-: a, -,a 12-, an, an;- 13 a, a; a; a, a 14-, an 15 A, a; a; a, a 16 an, a;-, an,-, a, a
17 a,-; a,- 18-,a 19 a; a,- 20 a, a; a; Exercise 3
21 A; a, an; a 22-,a, an, a 23-,a, an 24 a,-; a 25 a: a, a 26 a, a:- 27 an, a,-,- 28-;- 29 a, a,,Exercise 4
30 an; a, a, a: a;-I 31 a, a; an, a 32 a, a, a, a 33-,a, a 34 a, a 35 a, a 36-,a
2. Articles: THE
Exercise 1 (As before '-' indicates that no article is required, '(the)'
indicates that the article is optional.)
1 The,-, the,- 2 the; the, the 3-,-,-, the 4-,- 5 the; the, the;- 6-,-,-; the, the,-; the 7 the,
the;-,- 8-,-,the 9-; -,- 10 the, the; the
11-,-; the, the; the 12 the, the, the, the, - 13-,-,- 14-, -,-,- 15-,-, the 16-,-,-, the 17-, the,
the, - 18-,- 19-,-, -,-,- 20 the, the, the
21 the, -; -,the
22 The, -; the;-,-,- 23-; the, the, the 24-;-; the 25-, the,-, the 26-, -,-,the, the; The,-,the;
the, the, the, the, -, the, the 27 -, the, the; - 28 the, the; The, the, the, the 29 -, -, the,
the, -,- 30-,-,-;-,Exercise 4
31-,-, the, - 32 The, -;-,-,the 33-, (the), the, the, the 34 (the), (the); -,-,-,-, the
35-. - 36 the, the, the, the, the, the
3.Articles:A/ AN/ THE
Exercise 1 (Two words separated by an oblique, e.g. the/his, indicate that either is a
possible answer. The first word is normally the preferred answer.)
1 a, the; a, a 2 an, the, the 3 a, the,-,- 4 the, a, the,-.-.(the) 5 a,-,the, a 6 a, a/the, an, the 7
a,-, an, the, the, the, the 8 a, the, the 9 a, a 10 the, the, the, the, an
11-.-.(the), a 12 a, the,
13 the, a, the, the, the 14-;-,-,- 15 The, the, the; the, the 16 the, the, a,-: (the), the, the,17 a 18 a; the; a: a 19 a, the: a, -; The, the 20-,the; the; a, an
21 The, a, a,-,- 22 the, a,
- , the, a, the, the, the, the 23 a, a, a, the, -, the; The, -, -; The, the, -; -, the,-, an 24 the,
the, a 25 a, the, the 26-,the; the;-,the;-,a, - 27 a, the, the,- 28 a,-, an 29-,-, -,- 30 a, an,
an, a:-, -, -, -, the
31 a; the, the, the: a, - 32 the, an, the; -, the, -: the, the, a 33-,-; the 34-; a, the, -,a 35-,
the; a 36 a, a, a, the; the, the, -